Winter has definitely come this year and with more snow and ice on the radar to undoubtedly inundate the area, there’s bound to be a constant barrage of household messes to address. The whole point of a mudroom is to keep dirt and debris confined to one place in your home. However, everyone that lives in a snow and ice blanketed location knows that mess find its way well into other parts of the house.
Ideally, what you, your family and friends track in from outside, stops inside the mudroom. But in reality, there’s always a battle just outside the mudroom. And, it’s difficult to keep other well-trafficked locations in your home free from the clingy stuff that comes from outside.
Speaking of the outside that’s where the cold winter wind whips by and you want to keep it there so it doesn’t creep into the rest of your home. Doing so will cut down on your heating costs and extend the life of the decor and appliances that are in your mudroom.
Ways to Keep Your Mudroom Comfortable
Because the mudroom is often a small barrier between the outside elements and the rest of your home, many of them are not heated or vented. That presents a real problem when coming from cold and wet conditions, not to mention the fact that there’s going to be a lot of shoes and boots stored in the space.
“If you or any of your family members regularly play sports, absorbent floor mats are essential in keeping a clean mudroom. Rather than make your shoe rack dirty, place any mud-encrusted athletic footwear on an absorbent floor mat until you have time to properly clean them. These mats can also prove useful in storing wet boots.” —Do It Yourself.com
The simple solution is to install one or more space heaters, strategically positioned to keep the entire room warm and toasty when needed. Another way to quickly warm the space without wasting a lot of energy is with one or more heat lamps. In conjunction with keeping the room warm is keeping it well ventilated, free from mold and mildew growth, so, it’s a good idea to install an exhaust fan like the ones commonly found in bathrooms.
If you want to go all out, and improve the functionality as well as the value of your home, you can hard wire an electrical baseboard system or better yet, tie the space into your home’s central heating and cooling system. These last two options will allow you to heat the room constantly and consistently, making it a great place to house your furry family members.
Smart Ways to Keep a Mudroom Clean
Most homes equipped with a mudroom have the space for two purposes: keeping tracked-in dirt and debris confined to one space, and as an alternate entryway. That means during inclement conditions, the mudroom will act as the main entryway, being the first space your guests see. Obviously, you want it to look well-organized, warm, and clean. Here are some clever ways to keep your mudroom clean:
- Start with strategic arrangements. The trick to keeping a mudroom tidy is to confine boots, heavy coats, hats, caps, gloves, and the like to one small area. To accomplish this, arrange the items in the room to carve-out a small space as close to the door as possible. The area immediately to the opposite side of the way the door swings is the ideal place.
- Add plenty of wall-mounted hooks close to the door. Cold weather means bundling-up and everyone in the family will have their fair share of winter clothing. So, hang plenty of hooks, not only for family, but also for guests.
- Add personalized lockers or baskets. Instead of just piling gloves, scarves, mittens, caps, and other outerwear into one place, put in lockers or baskets, and dedicate one to each family member. You can also add more and label it for guests.
- Place a boot tray with river rocks near the door. Boot trays are a staple but they too get very dirty very quickly. To mitigate the mess and to make it more decorative, line the tray with river rock.
- Store seasonal items elsewhere. Remove unnecessary clutter before the first snow hits. Items like baseball gloves and bats, sandals and swimsuits, won’t be of any use during the winter so store those items somewhere else in the house.
- Dedicate at least one towel to Fido. Dogs will still need to go potty and they can fall for the temptation to romp in the snow or roll in the mud. Keep a towel, perhaps two or three, at an easy-access point to clean those dirty paws and dry off that fur coat.